Charlie 12 victor, p.5
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       Charlie 12 Victor, p.5

           Boyd Neisler
 
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In a darkened room, among several banks of monitors, eyes were watching one screen in particular. The scene was from a high vantage point looking obliquely from a slow flying drone. “There they are.” came an excited voice. “Hold the camera on them. Do they appear to be alright?”

  “It looks like one is keeping watch and the other sleeping or at least resting.”

  “Can you zoom in anymore?”

  All of a sudden, the image of the man on the rock filled the screen. “That must be the Colonel that was the remaining passenger. Where is the pilot?” Watching as the image decreased in size and began panning the area for the other man.

  “How long before a Blackhawk can get to them?”

  The question was left unanswered as the surrounding area filled the screen and as the camera panned a complete circle and lone Japanese made pickup came into view approximately seven kilometers from where the men were hiding.

  From his vantage point on the high rock, Colonel Housley could see for several miles to the west and to the south. Higher rocks blocked the view to the north, the same direction the pickup was coming from. Had he continued to look at the edge of the northern rocks he would have seen the vehicle as it came into view. At that time he caught a glimpse of reflected light in the sky to his front. He knew at once it was either a helicopter or drone and immediately stood up, waving his arms and yelling as loud as he could. ”Were down here!” He cried. “Help, we need help!” Captain Poole awoke with a start and climbed toward where the Colonel was jumping up and down and still yelling.

  “Damn it Colonel, shut up and sit down! If there are any tango’s around here, they know exactly where we are?”

  “But, that’s a drone’s attention I’m trying to get.”

  “The drone can see, but not hear.” The way it is circling, I’m sure you were seen.”

  “Stop the vehicle, and hand me the binoculars!” Said Sayeeed, taking the glasses, he trained them on the object he had seen on the rocks far to his left. He had just focused on the individual when he dropped out of sight. “Quickly, that way.” He said pointing to the distant ridge of huge boulders. “I got you now infidel!” He growled to himself.

  “Whoever is in that pickup just spotted the person jumping around. “ The man guiding the drone from his remote location many many miles away was telling his boss.

  “Good guy, bad guy? Can you take out the pickup before they get to them?”

  “Probably a bad guy, this area is hot. I might not be able to swing around in time to acquire the target and take them out, but I can try.” He told the senior officer standing beside him, as he began turning the drone from its present course in an attempt to intersect the fast moving pickup truck before they could reach the men in the rocks. Just as he was acquiring a lock-on of the pickup, the monitor they were watching became a streaked maze of hissing lines.

  “What the Hell is happening? Where’s the picture?” The officer demanded. “Get the link back up …now!”

  “Pull up to that trail leading up into the rocks.”

  “Yes Sayeed,” The driver replied. He pulled the vehicle up to the rocks and stopped.

  Grabbing his AK-47, the Sayeed quickly opened the door and ran to the cover of the rocks. “You, hiding in the rocks, come down; we are here to help you.” Sayeed said in his broken English.

  “He is sticking his head up trying to see where you are.” came from Saif, where he was hiding behind the pickup.

  “Come out at once.” repeated the man, waving the AK-47 at the individual hiding in the rock formation.

  Raising his hands into the air, the colonel stood up among the rocks, forgetting he had the pistol in his hand, he started down toward the man on the ground. He was only about 50 meters from the man, when he stumbled, tripping over the rough ground, falling forward. His hands instinctively came down to catch himself, accidently discharging the pistol in his hand into the rocks at his feet. Startled by this action, the senior holy warrior pressed the trigger on the AK-47 sending a spray of 7.62 rounds toward Colonel Housley. Three rounds of the first burst fired struck the rocks at his feet and ricocheted harmlessly into the air. The next five struck the Colonel starting at his lower legs and began climbing up his body. The last bullet struck the man in the chest, punching a hole through the heart and exiting out the back. As he was stumbling back, Sayeed took new aim and sent another blast of fiery death into the sliding body. Streaking rounds slammed in his upper back, working their way down to his hips, causing him to jerk as if still alive.

  Just moments before in the darkened room a picture reappeared on the monitor. “Quick, find the pickup and men.” yelled the officer.

  “Yes Sir, I’m scanning as fast as the cameras with let me.”

  Finding the pickup, they began scanning toward the rocks, only to find the motionless body of a figure lying on the ground and a blood trail marking his descent.

  “Sir! That’s one of ours! Do I target the tangos?” Questioned the operator.

  “I don’t know I don’t have the authority to make that call.” The Officer said begrudgingly.

  “Major, you had better shit or get off the pot, because the crap is hitting the fan! The man with the rifle is heading up into rocks and when he gets there, the other guy has had it!” The operator was saying excitedly and at the same time wondering to himself, “If you don’t have the authority what in Heaven’s name are you doing in this room? Also, what happened to the authority you had just before the screen went blank?”

  Sayeed yelled to his fellow warrior beside the pickup. “Cover me; I am going to see if the infidel left any documents where he was hiding.”

  “ I’m watching.” He said picking up the rifle he had never fired before and had no idea how it was supposed to work. “Please don’t let there be another man up there, or if there is let him be unharmed.”

  Causally walking around the boulders, the senior Mujahedeen found himself staring into the eyes of the downed pilot sitting on the ground. “You, come out with your hands over your head.”

  Complying with the man holding the rifle pointed at him, Poole resisted the urge to hold his ribs to ease the pain while trying to rise, he managed to get to his feet after a few moments of struggling. Standing before the rifleman, he waited to see what was to be his fate.

  “You thought you were too smart for me, didn’t you American dog.” With that statement, he quickly forced his prisoner out of the rocks toward the pickup and its driver.

  “If I’d had my pistol, you would be speaking to Allah right now.” Poole was thinking to himself.

  To Saif, Sayeed was saying. “Search him for anything.”

  Holding up the Captain’s military identification card. “He has no weapons, this I. D. is all I found.”

  Walking around to his captive’s side, he reached up and grabbed his left arm. Cruelly yanking it down, with a swift motion, he removed the watch from the captain’s wrist. Latching the watchband around his own wrist, he looked at the intricate dial. “An American dog like you doesn’t deserve a watch this nice.” Turning to Saif. “Search the dead one and load the body into the truck and be quick about it. I want to get back to our outpost as soon as possible. I have much to report to the Imam.” As the captain turned, starting toward the pick-up, the soldier hit him in the side with the scarred wooden stock of the AK-47. He saw a white flash, feeling as if all the air had evacuated his lungs and someone had emptied an AK-47 into his side the same side with the busted ribs. Falling to his knees, he gasped for air. “Get up Infidel that was just a love tap compared to what you have to look forward to.” He said returning the rifle to the ready position. “Get into the truck, at the back sit facing me.” Taking the pistol that Saif had recovered, he stuck it behind the sash that wrapped around his waist, then climbed into the bed of the truck, sitting with his back toward the cab and facing his prisoner.

  Blood stained the young soldier’s clothes as he struggled with the colonel’s body. Placing it in the bed of the pickup, he raised
the tailgate, securing it closed, he could see blood pooling beneath the rapidly cooling body. “Take us back to the station.” Sayeed ordered as Saif slid behind the steering wheel and closed the door.

  Horrified eyes stared at the monitor as the capture unfolded before them. “What do we do now?” The operator queried.

  “Stay with them as long as you can. How much fuel do you have?”

  “About another two hours before I have to head for our field.”

  “OK, do it and keep me informed. Don’t lose them,” he said as he left the darkened room and headed for his office to make a call he was dreading and might be the one to end his career.

  “Yes Sir.” Was the operators reply. To the NCO standing beside him, he said. “That’s bullshit. It was not his fault the first soldier was killed, but I had a lock on the vehicle and on his word, I could have taken out those two tango’s and the other soldier would still be free. It may be the end of my career, but when I send my after-action report to the old man, that is exactly what it will say.”

  Chapter 6

 
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